Eastern Ontario triple homicides highlights domestic violence culture of silence

The recent domestic homicides in the Ottawa Valley show the most awful consequence of intimate partner violence: the wonderful lives of women we lose. The history of abuse that precedes it has a wide-ranging impact on the entire community.  

And sadly, for every case that ends in homicide, there are countless women being hurt, being told they are worthless, being stalked, or being forbidden to access their money. They are in relationships where their partner threatens their children, their pets, their family, or their autonomy.

Victims of intimate partner violence remain in the dark because we have built walls of silence about abuse. We are too embarrassed, too nervous, or too reluctant to discuss it with our friends, our families and in our communities.

While one in five women revealed they didn’t report their abuse out of fear of their abuser, almost half of women said it was because they didn’t want anyone to find out, according to a 2013 Statistics Canada report. Meanwhile, in Ottawa alone, the Ottawa Police Service receives over 4500 calls a year related to intimate partner violence.

The time is now.

Every single one of us has the power in our hands to change the culture of silence around domestic violence. The time is now to shine the light on intimate partner violence.  The time is now to let women know that they will be heard without judgement. The time is now to let women know they will be supported when they come forward with their experiences.

Intimate partner violence has consistently been one of the most common forms of gender-based violence in Canada, and yet we rarely talk about it. We wait until tragedy has struck our communities to say, “Everyone knew.”

It’s time for that to change. Show that you will no longer accept financial, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse towards women. We want to you to stand up, be proud, and shout it from the rooftops. We are ready to shine the light on violence against women!

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